The Forest

No prompt Written 22 December 2020

Before you enter the forest, stop a moment and take note of the wind, the sun’s position in the sky, the sway of the trees. Before you set foot in the shade, to hunt or hide or fight, you must check to see whose territory you are entering.

If the sun is high, shedding its warmth on your scalp and shoulders, and the wind skips gleefully along the stream, you are safe. On humid summer days filled with buzzing insects, you are free to take refuge in the shadow of the ancient wood. For the spring is a new beginning, a bringer of light, and belongs to humanity. Mother Earth embraces you gently, nurtures your crops and fills your stores with meat.

Be wary, though, if the sun is shrouded in clouds, if the wind cries out in mourning, or the rain comes down like waves. The summer sun is kind and gentle, but even a Mother must be strict, and Mother Earth has many children. Storms are for the witches, the spellcasters in gossamer nightgowns. They gather under the moon, cloaked in fog, skin prickled in goosebumps, as they call down the water and lightning from the sky. If you are careful, if you are polite, they may let you pass. Do not hunt on these nights. To take from the forest while it belongs to the witches is to invite the worst of trouble.

But here I warn you, never enter the forest when the snow falls thick, the trees stand barren, and the wind howls like a pack of hungry wolves. Winter belongs to neither man nor beast. Mother Earth is asleep, and she will not protect you should you dare step foot inside the world of spirits. Should your travel require you go near the forest, keep your eyes on the path ahead and leave an offering at every tree you pass beneath. Be respectful of any living thing you meet, and say nothing to the man with antlers curved about his head like a crown.

Musings 2: The First Line

They say the first line, first paragraph, first page, is the most important part of your book. They’re wrong.

You don’t write an engaging, fun, interesting “first” part, and then get lazy the rest of the way. The entire book should be the most interesting. You don’t want your reader to say “The first page was my favorite part”, you want it to be hard for them to decide. You want them to say they love the characters, the dialogue, the worldbuilding. If their favorite part is the beginning, you’re doing it wrong.

The idea that you need a perfect hook is a reasonable one. You want people to pick up your book and want to read it as soon as they open it. It is, ultimately, a sales tactic. And plenty of authors and publishers who know a lot more than me will tell you that your job is to sell your book. I disagree.

Your job is, first and foremost, to write your book. Tell your story. That’s it. You’ll never write a hook that makes your story impossible to put down. You do that for the entire book. More than that, though, you will never write a single sentence that is capable of catching the interest of everyone. Because stories are personal, and they’re meant to be personal.

The whole book should be engaging. I don’t mean constant tension, I mean constant fun. You have to build up and release the tension in waves, and you have to make it enjoyable to read, not stressful. I don’t quote the lines that broke my heart or scared me. I quote the ones that inspired me or made me laugh.

There’s a balance you have to strike, to make the readers care. And you cannot make every single person who reads your story care. People are individuals, and there is not a single topic that every person on this planet can agree on. So I think we’re focusing too much on how many people we can reach. Don’t water down your writing to please a wider audience.

Of the Sea (version 2)

Prompt: “I’ll come meet you where the stars meet the sea” alternate version of previous post. Feel free to let me know which you prefer. Written 8 September 2020

It was the last thing he’d said to me, before he left with them, in the middle of the night. They didn’t look at me, only flanked him as if he were very valuable. Or very dangerous.

I hadn’t known what he’d meant, that night as he leaned down and kissed me goodbye. But the moment they left I shot out of bed and got to work.

I had seen enough of the world that I knew it wasn’t as simple as finding a boat and sailing towards the horizon. I started by studying the path the stars follow, charting each constellation’s steady crawl over the sky. I called on every contact I had, presenting the words as a riddle. I was told about the rise and fall of the waves, of ocean currents and moon phases. When I thought to map the currents in relation to the movement of the constellations, I thought I had cracked it. I was wrong. I had examined every possible convergence of these things, and still did not find him.

I did not stay put. I sailed to each promising set of coordinates, and personally visited anyone in the world who I thought could give me the information that would allow me to find him. I sought out spellweavers who taught me how to pull magic from the night, scholars who showed me exactly how each current swept its course, and found myself in the company of gentleman and pirates, shades and ogres and a sphinx. I learned much of the world and of magic, but still I did not know how to reach the one place in the world I desperately wanted to go. I sat at the feet of dragons, fought back to back with things not quite human, and made many friends and enemies.

Still I did not find him.

Years passed as I searched, with no true answer in sight. Then I met the moonsmith, and a glimmer of hope returned.

She was remarkably young, maybe fourteen years old, with long, thin fingers and thin hair. I was travelling alone when I met her in the forest on a moonless night.

I was following a rumor of a spirit said to grant wisdom. Instead I ran into her. More specifically, I nearly stepped on her as she crawled out from under a bush. I tripped over myself in my effort to miss her, and yelped as I crashed to the ground. She had a knife in her hand as she helped me up.

She led me to her home, and I found myself telling her my tale, her eyes a gold that bordered on orange. Had they been that color a moment ago? Surely, if they had glowed that brightly I would have seen her sooner.

Her eyes turned gray as I finished my tale. I stared, but she offered no explanation, instead handing me a steaming mug. Her house was warm and organized, beads and string and wire of every color lining the walls. She snipped a length of wire as she sat down, and twisted it in her fingers, occasionally reaching for a bead or delicate tool. I watched in silence, entranced.

In mere moments, she held a delicate pendant in the shape of a rolling wave, wrapped around a moonstone, and held it out to me. I took it lightly.

She stood. “I’ll get you a cord for it. I’d keep it around your neck, if I were you. Though your wrist would work almost as well.”

“Neck is fine.” I said hesitantly. “I trust your judgement.”

She chuckled. “Welcome to the home of the Moonsmith. Crafter of amulets and ambassador to stars.”

I nearly dropped the pendant. “What?”

She took the pendant from my open palm, tied the cord to it, and settled it around my neck before answering. “I make amulets for the stars. And I can help you find where they meet the sea.”

Of the Sea (version 1)

No prompt. This is a first version of an idea I had been playing with at the time. The next version (the one I prefer) will be published next. Written 24 August 2020

She lived with her husband on an island ten miles from the mainland.

Perhaps “island” is too grand a word, for it held enough space for a house, a spacious garden, a copse of trees and no more. Her husband was a sea-loving man who made his living as a sailor in the trade season and a fisher the rest of the year. He had built the house on the island for her as a present on their wedding day. But she loathed the ocean. Its chopping waves and salty spray turned her stomach, and so he completed his gift with a border of trees so thick she could pretend she was still on the mainland.

As he worked in water, she worked in earth, selling the surplus of her garden, from vegetables and herbs to those with more magical uses. Much of it, though, she saved to feed her spells, which she bottled and hawked at market with the rest.

The strangeness of their home brought the Fair Folk, bargaining for her expertise and use of her husband’s ship. The couple declined as long as they could, trying to buy time enough to properly ensure their safety.

But a year in, his trade routes went bad, and his luck in fishing turned as nets tore, lines snapped, and the schools were driven away. If they suspected the Folk of anything, they kept quiet about it, and agreed to their demands.

Their bargaining with the Fey took her husband farther out to sea than ever before, leaving her alone with her spells for longer, at the mercy of those who would have her magic.

The couple knew the Rules, though. They ate and drank only what they had prepared themselves, and before every voyage she extracted a promise that no harm would come to her husband. Each time, she worded it carefully and clearly, and each time, she imagined the loopholes they might exploit as she sat at home.

These promises kept them both safe. Until, of course, they didn’t.

It was early on a summer morning, and she was working in their garden by the first light of dawn. Her husband had just dressed and readied for the day. He was set to start another voyage that evening.

She knew something was amiss when he didn’t meet her for breakfast. Her next clue was that, for the first time in years, their island was not occupied by a single Fey. When she went to the deck and found it empty, she raced back up the path and into her home, ransacking it in her efforts to find all she needed.

The thing she had feared for so long finally came. They had taken him. She didn’t know why they wanted him, but so close to Midsummer she knew he could be lost forever in no time at all.

Armed with a staff, a green cloak, and a bag full of spells, she willed her trees into an arch, into which she threw bottle after bottle, chanting all the while. She drew a silver blade across her arm, and threw that, too. It disappeared as it passed through the arch. She downed a potion that would keep her on her feet, and at last threw herself through the wobbling portal, still bleeding.

She found herself on a beach, mere steps away from an alabaster palace. It did not smell of brine, and the sand was alarmingly soft beneath her feet. The discovery unsettled her. For all her hate for these things, her husband loved them, and she found in their absence that perhaps she had grown to love them, too.

She gained her bearings and set off towards the palace, but the beach was far from empty.

Musings 1: Notebooks

Welcome to the first of my musings. These will be posted regularly alongside my short stories. I encourage all readers to let me know their opinions on every topic, because that is all these are: my opinion.

Notebooks. In the writer’s community, beautiful notebooks are seen as these holy objects, to be collected and then never touched. Whether you write by hand or on a computer, chances are you have a collection of cool-looking notebooks from Target or WalMart or gifts from friends.

It is a very well known unofficial rule of writing that we are not to mar the pristine pages of these tomes with our unworthy pens. And so they sit, countless pages on countless shelves in countless rooms. Untouched. Unused.

So here I confess a secret. I have broken this rule. I have committed the ultimate sin by bringing my pen to paper inside the faux-leather cover I spent twelve hard-earned dollars on. And not only will I continue my heathen ways, I hereby encourage every writer of every age and skill level to do the same. Gather closer, dear reader, and I will tell you my secrets.

This rule that we writers follow stems from our own insecurities. We don’t want to Ruin the beautiful notebook with our half-baked plots and unoriginal characters. We don’t want to risk leaving it half-filled and forgotten. We want to save it for the Perfect Story that will come in some far-off era, when we have transcended human error and can write a perfect novel in its first draft.

This line of thinking is absolute trash.

There will never be a perfect moment, a perfect story. Waiting for one will only end in dusty notebooks. I am of the opinion that it is far more heinous to deprive the notebook of its purpose, and is, in my opinion, the highest form of reverence.

More than that, the simple act of allowing yourself to use the notebooks you pined over in the stationary aisle is in itself a divine experience. Pulling each one from the shelf to determine which one fits your story, which one matches the elegant setting, or the rugged, sarcastic main character. This is what the notebooks are for. Using your hoard turns the very act of writing into an even more wonderful thing. And your writing, however crude or amateur, deserves a beautiful home. You are adding to its magic, not defiling something sacred.

Yes, the notebook may end up torn and bruised and full of writing you never want to be seen by another pair of eyes. But you have made it yours. You have unapologetically made your mark on the world, and that is commendable. To write is to put a piece of yourself on the page. Such an act deserves the gift of beauty.

Do not worry about the story within being complete, or perfect, or even legible. This tome is yours, to share or hide or tear. Do not limit it to a single story if you think that will leave it unfilled. Break the rules. Burn them, scatter them, and build something new. This is what we do when we write. To trap ourselves with arbitrary laws that protect no one is to go against our purpose as writers.

I leave you with this: it is not a sin, not blasphemy, to use your notebook hoard. It is not irreverent. If notebooks are holy, they are only that because of the beauty they will eventually hold.

To Breathe

Inspired by Leigh Bardugo’s Language of Thorns. Written 31 July 2020

She knew, as all children did, that toys could will themselves alive in a way a child’s imagination couldn’t. True, the dreams of a child filled their chests with air, brought movement to their stiff limbs and opened their painted mouths. But a child cannot give their toys a will of its own, only impose theirs upon it.

Her aunt told her of the little soldier she had loved in her youth, who had willed himself alive and, in time, outgrew her. She told the story wistfully, like she still loved the soldier, but did not begrudge him his freedom. Armed with her aunt’s story, she promised herself to never will her toys to love her.

Many children lose the power to wake their toys as they grow. They forget the breath they once willed into dolls and trains and plush bears, and so they forget how. She did not. Her aunt was there to remind her.

She kept a small handful of toys, ones she thought might someday wish themselves alive. She wondered if her will would help or harm their chances.

It was a cold night when she awoke before the sunrise. Her window was cracked open, and the wind cut through her blankets. Having woke from restless dreaming, she rose, shivering, and crossed the smooth wooden floor to close the window. Her room was illuminated dimly by the moon, draining the color from the world and softening all its edges. As she did on all such nights, she pulled the dolls from the shelf above her bed, and, one by one, sat them in her lap and asked them questions in a low whisper.

“Are you awake?” she asked the thin dancer in a pale pink gown and silver corset.

“I am,” the doll replied softly.

“Are you a dancer?” she prodded.

“For now.”

She sighed. “Will you dance with me?” The doll grew to a head above the girl, and twirled her around a pale pink ballroom filled with the dancer’s sisters, each of whom arrived as she thought their names.

Soon, though, her will shrank, and she was in her room once more, holding the doll in her lap. Returning the doll to its place on her shelf, she turned her attention to the soldier her aunt had given her on her birthday, the same day she first told the story of her own soldier.

“Are you awake?” she asked.

He arose and saluted. “Risen and ready, my lady. What are your orders?”

“Do you have a name, general?” at the question, he lost a little of the life in his eyes, his features returning to brushstrokes.

“You know me, my lady.” he said.

“You may return to your post, general.” she replied, lacking the will to invent a battle for him to fight.

“Are you awake?” she asked the little horse. It whinnied and let her ride it through the stars, but when she loosened her will, it shrank into her lap once more

Her eyes pricked as she cradled her oldest toy in her lap. Once, he had been a bright and perfectly painted boy, smiling with mischief and floating on mechanical wings. But the paint had chipped, the wings dented, and his smile was barely visible. Still, his wings fluttered and his coat shone earthy green when she asked, “Are you awake?”

“I am here, Yana.” he said.

“You remember my name.” she said with a soft smile.

“Yes.” he said.

“Do you know your name?” she whispered.

His head tilted as he thought. “You called me Theo first. Then Rainer. Once, you said I was Prince Wesley.”

“Are any of those your name?” she asked, pushing down her hope.

Confusion crossed his pointed face. “They are when you say they are.”

“And when I am gone?” her fists balled in her nightgown. The window latch fell open, and a breeze made the pair of them shiver.

“When you are gone,” he paused. She held her breath. “When you are gone, I am smaller. It is… Harder to move. And I miss you.”

She blinked. “Why?”

“I’m not sure. It is… Brighter with you.” he shook his head. “No, that’s not right. You only come when it is dark outside.”

“Is it because I help you breathe?” she asked, wilting.

“No,” he answered. “I breathe without you.”

She started. “You do?”

He shivered again, and crossed the room to close the window. He walked lightly, practically floating, and she noted the small scales that covered his spine. “It is cold tonight.” she nodded. “You have not called on me for some time.” he said.

“I’m sorry.”

“You didn’t see me move.”

Her head snapped up. “When did you move?”

“I have left the shelf every night since you lost your book downstairs.”

“Where did you go?” he stepped in front of her, and mirrored her position on the floor.

“I went to find your book, at first. It was behind a chair.”

“And after you found it?” she leaned closer to him.

“I explored. I was… small, at first. I didn’t leave the house. But when I could be tall without you, I went into town. I flew above it, at first. I thought being seen would make me shrink again. I watched the festival from your roof. The night after that, I hid my wings and went to the night market.”

He continued, telling her of each of his adventures spent away from her shelf, until morning light brought color back to her room, and hardened the edges.

“Why did you come back?” she asked, looking at him with awe.

“I missed you.” he said simply.

“Why?”

In answer, he stood and pulled her up, wrapping his arms about her waist and fluttering upwards. “Of all the people I met those nights outside the shelf, I found I still wanted to experience things with you.”

I wanted, he said. Her aunt had told her that those were the words that brought will to a toy. I want. It was what children used to wake their toys, and, every once in a while, what a toy used to wake themselves.

She smiled. Grinned. Laughed. He spun her, not in a ballroom or a barrack or among the stars, but in the small, cramped space of her bedroom, above the row of unasked toys still on her floor. And when they finally set their bare feet on her wood floor, he pressed his lips to hers, in an act so unexpected she knew that it had been his will and not hers that made him do it.

“I love you.” he said, taking her hands in his. His fingers were long and thin and pale, and she pressed them to her lips in answer.

“What is your name?” she asked, and he grinned.

“I don’t know yet, but we can find out together.”

Frozen Folk

Prompt: Their home was cold, their hearts were winter, and they spoke in frost. Written 24 May 2020

The child walked up the steps to the large home. He shivered. Elsewhere, it was early summer, but here, winter ruled. It was their way. Their home was cold, their hearts were winter, and they spoke in frost. And he needed them.

Clenching his jaw to stop the chattering, he lifted his fist and gave two loud knocks. The door swung open and he stepped inside.

Everything was covered in ice. Even the fire crackling in the fireplace exhaled snowflakes, glowing blue. The surprising part, however, was not the ice. It was that the building was empty.

He entered cautiously, an apology ready on his tongue. But no one came to scold the intruder, even when he walked through the kitchen.

He wandered through bedrooms and studies, walked the library and the dining room, but the building seemed deserted.

When he found the throne room abandoned, he yelled. He screamed and swore at the frozen folk, who left at the worst possible time. He urged them to come teach him a lesson, and threatened to place himself on the throne.

At this, the air stilled and true silence fell. Nothing rustled, whined, or scraped. He stopped. Turned a circle around the room. Took a step toward the door.

Then came a high, trilling whistle, and a breeze pushed him back towards the throne. Now he noticed a staff leaning against the back of the throne. Prodded by more wind, he walked up to it. The whistling turned into a light melody, and it led him still closer. The music flooded his mind, drowning out his thoughts, and he reached for the staff. He took it in his hand, and was flooded with cold. It froze his veins, frosted his eyes, and drained him of color. His vision went white, then black.

When he woke, he was surrounded by the ones he had been looking for. They crowded the room, kneeling to him.

“You have passed the test and proven yourself.” said one, who he found he knew to be the source of the whistling. “Welcome home, my king.”

At his words, the boy shuddered, and saw the lives of kings and queens before him. His quest was wiped from his mind and he held his head high.

The Matchmaker

This story does not have a prompt, but was inspired by the matchmaker scene in Disney’s animated Mulan. Written 9 June 2020

She sat quietly as her mother combed her hair and her sister painted her face.

“Don’t be nervous. The matchmaker is fair.” said her mother. “She isn’t cruel.”

“She’s quite judgmental.” her sister noted.

“That is her job, isn’t it?” she replied. Her sister giggled.

“She has to be, dear. If the men are unhappy with the match, it affects her livelihood.” their mother said. The girls looked at each other and shrugged.

Her mother and sister finished at the same time, and she stood. She was given a beaded necklace and a carved belt to pull her robes in at the waist. The many layers trailed behind her, and her mother gathered them up to keep them clean as they walked outside to the waiting carriage. She hugged her mother and sister, then stepped into the matchmaker’s carriage.

She said nothing during the ride, and only broke her silence to thank the servants who helped her out of the carriage. They led her to the matchmaker, who was sitting cross legged at a low table. She was a wiry woman, wearing layers of light fabric in muted colors. Her eyes made their way slowly up her gown and over her painted face.

“Sit, child.” The matchmaker beckoned in a reedy voice. She was careful to keep her back straight as she gently arranged her skirt under her. “Tea, please. For myself and you. Milk, no sugar.”

She obeyed, pouring the tea and leaving her own unaltered.

“No sugar?” asked the matchmaker.

“I prefer to taste it plain first.” she replied, taking a sip.

The matchmaker seemed pleased. “What sort of husband do you wish for?” she asked.

She started. She had been under the impression that she had no choice in the matter. “I merely wish to please my family.” she said.

“A diplomatic answer.” she mused. “Do you fear me, child?”

“I think I would be a fool to not be nervous.”

“You seek to impress me.”

“I seek a good match, nothing more.”

The matchmaker nodded. “Are you aware of anyone wishing to court you?” She held out her cup, and the girl poured her more tea.

“No, madam.”

“Are you practiced in magic?”

“Small charms and enchantments, madam.”

“You sew and cook?”

“Often, madam.”

The questioning continued, all the while she served the matchmaker, keeping her hands in her lap at all other times.

Eventually the matchmaker stood. “We are done. You will be sent home in my carriage.”

She stood as well, bowing to the matchmaker before turning to leave.

At home, she was pressed for details over dinner, and she did her best to sate their curiosity. She and her sister cleaned up after the meal, and when that was done, she told her sister she was going for a walk in the garden square.

“Don’t be too late!” her sister called after her.

She skirted the well tended labyrinth and made her way to the edge of the forest as the sun began to set. She squeezed through dense brush into a hidden clearing, where a broad man waited, pacing. He rushed to her as she entered.

“You went to the matchmaker today.” He said as he embraced her.

“I did.”

“Did you tell her?” he asked.

“I told her I knew of no one wishing to court me.” he smiled.

“And your preference of husband?” he prodded.

She put on a sickly sweet face and said demurely, “Merely one that will please my family.”

He grinned. “It is a good match.” he assured her.

Her smile wavered. “And if it doesn’t work?”

He took her hand. “No matter what happens, I will come for you, my love.” They embraced once more, and she hurried out of the clearing to get home.

The Pirate

Prompt: “It’s going to be so awkward”//”Just find a hot pirate to hit on to pass the time” Written 20 February 2019 Note: This short story is not one of my preferred works, but I felt I should include it anyways so that I could get your feedback, and know how I can improve.

“Ok, I’ve got to go in and make this deal alone. I need you to stay here until I’m done.” he said, pulling his bag off his shoulder. I slumped.

“So I have to sit here and mingle with shady looking strangers? It’s going to be so awkward.” I complained, grabbing his arm.

He laughed. “You’ll be fine. Just find a hot pirate to hit on to pass the time.” he pulled out of my grip and walked inside.

Huffily, I muttered “It’s only fun to flirt when it’s with you.” But I sat down next to an adventurous looking fellow, and altered my posture to seem more inviting.

The man looked me over and smiled. “Quite the partner you have there.” he said. “How’d he end up traveling with someone like you?”

I eyed him quizzically. “Why don’t you use your imagination?” his encouraged look wasn’t nearly as fun as Seren’s gentlemanly blush, but I continued. “Anyways, what brings you to this oh-so-mysterious establishment?”

He leaned over and whispered in my ear. “Selling stolen valuables.” I laughed.

“Well, that’s rather obvious, isn’t it?” I asked.

“Places like this aren’t where you share secrets, love.” he replied.

“And where does one share secrets, good sir?” I asked, bringing my face closer to his.

“Come with me and I just might show you.”

I feigned offense. “Sir, I am a lady.” I whispered loudly.

“And I am a pirate.” he grinned.

The City that Forgot

Prompt: By noon, the flowers had reached her knees. Written 9 July 2020

Everyone is warned to avoid the attention of the Fair Folk. They are volatile, fickle, and nigh impossible to understand. And they don’t like being seen without permission. If you are born with the Sight, you must live carefully or risk being blinded. Only fools and heroes seek to gain the Sight, risking far more than their eyes in the process.
Women and children are especially at risk of being taken, and are thus usually kept within the town or otherwise escorted and protected.
But these are rules long forgotten in the town where our tale is set. The town has sprawled into a city, and is surrounded not by the forest home of the Folk, but by wide, open meadows on which one can see for miles. Those who remember believe themselves safe here. They are wrong.
It is now that I direct your attention to a girl of no consequence. Her name is not ours to know, nor her age, nor her family status. She leaves the city at midmorning, unchaperoned, and with little more than a basket for picking flowers and herbs. The sky is clear, the sun is bright, and the morning dew has dried. These are not unusual details. In fact, this is not an unusual journey in any aspect save one.
Our Girl of No Consequence has been instructed many times to travel as far as necessary to gather the proper specimens. Today, though, she finds they are harder to find. By the time she finds her elusive quarry, she has left the city so far behind she can hardly see it on the horizon. She does not note this, or fear it, as she has not learned to do so. She also does not note the gathering mists that pull at her steps, or the stalks that follow her path as they would the sun’s.
The flowers reach for her, gradually, and this she almost sees, but decides it must be a trick of the light.
When the pipe’s music bounces softly along the wind, she hums over it without a thought.
By noon, the flowers had reached her knees, and she struggles to pull free of their grasp. She sees, all at once, what she had not cared to notice before, and the pipe’s tune grows frantic. Her heart speeds its tempo to match and she tries to pull free still. She is held fast by mist and magic.
When a figure appears on the horizon, she calls out, not seeing he had come from the opposite direction of the city she once called home.
He gets closer, and now she can see the pipes pressed to his lips and he smiles. Everything in her shrinks back from his pointy smile even as she is pulled toward the music. His stride is steady, even, and slow, yet he reaches her in only a moment, warping space and time to turn miles into steps.
She trembles as he reaches her, so close his pipes nearly touch her chin. The flowers loose their grip, but the music holds her fast. His playing jumps and spirals, rises and falls like the breath of a living thing. Her mind fogs and spins.
He is handsome, she sees. His teeth are not monstrous but beautiful. His hair is light and airy like soft down feathers, and she longs to run her fingers through it. His eyes are the color of the meadow she stands in, and they are beautiful. She reaches her arms out to embrace him.
As I said before, this girl is of no import. Her name is not remembered, nor her family.
And so, being a Girl of No Consequence, there is no prince or knight or sorcerer to ride in from the horizon and save her as the beautiful stranger sinks his sharp teeth into her neck and feeds until he is sated. What is left of her he gives to the flowers for their aid, and he leaves to tell his brethren of the city that Forgot. For those who are not armed with the rules are easy prey.